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Le Loup’s Blissful Chaos

“We should play for them, probably no one would notice,” one fan commented at the Le Loupshow last night (Dec. 10). This isn’t quite true, of course — thechaos that erupted onstage when the D.C.-bred septet played theirhometown was a controlled one — but it does help explain what make LeLoup’s shows so exciting, so breathlessly talked about among theDistrict’s cultural cognoscente. The audience at the Black Cat wastaken along for the ride, and essentially became part of the band in asmall way, as choruses swelled and demanded to be sung… no shouted,along to.

Head conspirator Sam Simkoff spurted like a vegan Craig Finn,and whatever folded arms might have been in the college indie kid crowdtotally disappeared. “Look to the West” turned the semi-packed club into a nursery school sing-along before “Breathing Rapture,” withSimkoff’s electric banjo front and center, called to mind a radioactivehoedown. The evening’s highlight, though, was “Canto XXXIV,” whichexploded from the stage with such unadulterated joy it was hard not tothink of a certain Canadian band Le Loup keeps drawing comparisons to(hint: they’re buddies with Springsteen — see Spin‘s December issue).But on a wintry Monday night, the band proved they inhabit a universeof their own — with apocalyptic lyrics, voices coming from everywhere,and seemingly as many instruments as could fit on stage. There was noword, as of press time, on who played the kitchen sink.